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PHOTO: State Sen. Judith Zaffirini and State Rep. John Cryier will co-chair the Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus, which met this week to elect officers. Pictured left to right starting at top, caucus members Rep. Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball), Rep. Tracy King (D-Batesville), affirini (D-Laredo), Rep. Leighton Schubert (R-Caldwell), Rep. John Kuempel (R-Seguin). Also pictured are Rep. Dennis Paul (R-Houston), Cyrier (R-Lockhart), Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen), Rep. Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) and Rep. Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton). SUBMITTED PHOTO

FROM STAFF REPORTS

AUSTIN — Two Interstate 35 corridor lawmakers, State Sen. Judith Zaffirini and State Rep. John Cryier, were elected by their colleagues this week to co-chair the 30-plus member Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus.

Zaffirini, a Laredo Democrat whose district includes Caldwell County and eastern Hays and Guadalupe counties, sits on the Senate’s Natural Resources committee; Cryier, a Lockhart Republican whose district includes Bastrop and Caldwell counties, sits on the House’s Land & Resource Management committee. Both represent districts that include portions lying atop the oil- and natural gas-rich Eagle Ford Shale formation.

The Eagle Ford caucus aims to coordinate on policy related to energy development in the 26-county shale region, issues that include transportation funding, property rights and groundwater. In 2013, the caucus organized opposition to the Texas Department of Transportation’s efforts to convert roads in four South Texas counties from pavement to gravel, a plan the agency later abandoned.

Zaffirini, who was a founder of the Eagle Ford caucus in 2012, is the second most senior senator; Cryier, a businessman and former Caldwell County commissioner, is the House’s least senior member, having taken office March 3 after winning a special election runoff on Feb. 17.

The new caucus co-chairs jointly released statements on their election.

Zaffirini said:

“I am delighted to be the Senate Chair of the Eagle Ford Shale Legislative Caucus, especially because of the shale’s tremendous economic impact on our district and state. What’s more, I look forward to continuing to collaborate with my colleagues in championing legislation and funding that promote responsible development and address the region’s unique opportunities and challenges.”

Cryier said:

“As the representative for Karnes County, the largest oil producing county in the state, I am deeply interested in the region’s future. I look forward to working with my colleagues and constituents to address the challenges facing the Eagle Ford Shale region and to ensure its continued prosperity.”

Map

SD-21 (blue) and HD-17 (red) include oil- and natural gas-producing areas in South Texas.

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